Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Port of Hueneme CEO Elected AAPA Chair

By Mark Edward Nero

The American Association of Port Authorities’ Board of Directors has elected Port of Hueneme CEO Kristin Decas as its incoming chair for AAPA’s 2014-2015 activity year. Decas takes office at the conclusion of the association’s annual convention in Houston later this year.

Decas will succeed Tay Yoshitani, CEO of the Port of Seattle, whose tenure as AAPA chair expires in November. Yoshitani, who announced in January that he would retire from the port in June, recently agreed to stay on until at least the end of September.

Decas took over as the Port of Hueneme’s CEO in February 2012 and previously spent five years as CEO and port director for the Port of New Bedford, Mass. In that position, she helped orchestrate a fiscal turnaround for the port and played a role in the development of a new terminal to support the nation’s first offshore wind energy project.

The Port of New Bedford also realized growth in its cruise and recreational boating activity during her tenure. “Kristin is a proven leader and will be a great asset to AAPA, and to the port industry,” AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle said.

Decas was recently awarded a high-profile appointment by the US Department of Transportation to both the National Freight Advisory Committee (NFAC) and the US Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council (MTSNAC).

“I feel very privileged to serve as AAPA’s next chairman of the board and am thankful for the opportunity,” Decas said in a statement. “I very much look forward to working with all of my maritime colleagues on important and timely initiatives, including the reauthorization of the nation’s transportation act, advancement of maritime policy, infrastructure and economic development initiatives, and outreach and communication strategies.”

The AAPA, which is headquartered outside Washington, DC, is a trade group representing about 160 Western Hemisphere ports. It advances its members’ interests through public advocacy and professional development.

The job of chairman is an uncompensated position.